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To Root or Not to Root? The Economics of Jailbreak

Author

Listed:
  • Leung, Tin Cheuk
  • Ng, Travis
  • Ho, Chun-Yu
  • Chao, Hong

Abstract

We construct a structural model that allows us to jointly estimate the demand for smartphones and paid apps using a Bayesian approach. Our data comes from more than 500 college students in Hong Kong and Shanghai. We find that the moral cost rather than the monetary cost of jailbreaking smartphones determines its prevalence. Users mainly jailbreak smartphones to use paid apps for free, a reason more important among Android users than iPhone users. Paid apps contribute the lion's share of the profits (between 53% and 71%) for both the Android and iPhone. Strictly prohibiting jailbreaking would decrease the aggregate market share of smartphones in the cell phone market. Apple, however, would sell even more iPhones at the expense of Android smartphones.

Suggested Citation

  • Leung, Tin Cheuk & Ng, Travis & Ho, Chun-Yu & Chao, Hong, 2013. "To Root or Not to Root? The Economics of Jailbreak," MPRA Paper 47409, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:47409
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/47409/1/MPRA_paper_47409.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jin-Hyuk Kim & Tin Cheuk Leung, 2013. "Quantifying the Impacts of Digital Rights Management and E-Book Pricing on the E-Book Reader Market," Working Papers 13-03, NET Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    jailbreak; demand estimation; smartphones;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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